Showing posts with label Piano Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Piano Music. Show all posts

8/20/2021

Contemporary Instrumental (Piano) Review: Robin Spielberg-Give My Regards To Broadway

Release Date: August, 20, 2021

Label: playMountain Music

Website

How can one woman and one piano capture an audience? Ask Robin Spielberg she has been doing it for years. I think it is safe to say that the legacy of this fine artist is in place and will continue to grow with the passing years. Robin has been very busy over the last two years. It seems it was a short time ago I covered RE-INVENTIONS, which came out last November. Now we are more than halfway into this year.

With Give My Regards To Broadway, her 21st proper studio album, due out next month, Robin takes her Steinway to the land of dreams and legends. The music that you will hear is timeless and memorable. The best thing for every listener is the recognition you will receive while listening. You do not have to be a music expert to find commonality. So, for her twentieth album, you get 20 classic tracks done the only way Robin knows how, with respect, care, love, and just enough innovative twist to make each track her own. For my ears and senses, this is the main attraction of what Robin so seamlessly accomplishes on her recordings.

The anticipation I feel with each of her releases is always a jolt of energy before I even hear the first track. Not every artist can pull that off as consistently as Robin does. I count on it, and I am never disappointed. I can understand a potential listener looking at the track list feeling it may seem like a lot of music, and it is however they run 3 plus minutes to 4 plus minutes. Keeping each track within a reasonable time span like the originals, and offering her indelible mark with that magnificent Steinway is once again, and as always, is masterful.

Instrumental piano music as a standalone form of audible entertainment has every opportunity to be boring and uneventful. The selections Robin chooses never allow that kind of atmosphere to set in. It is all quite elegant, uplifting, and relaxing. And at the same time, it can energize, be meditative, and above all nostalgic. It will have some listeners reaching back into a time and place they may have forgotten. Moments of our lives can be good, bad, or indifferent, then go by in our mind’s eye like the flickering of the film from a projector at the movies. After all, it has been said, all the worlds a stage, and we are merely actors and portrayers. If that is the case, my music-loving friends, then there is nobody better than Robin Spielberg to set that camera in motion and tell the tales that all of these 20 tracks can aspire to hold for us all.

As Ms. Spielberg tips her cap to Broadway and to you the audience (whom she suggests to give yourself a hand in the inner sleeve of the CD), I give my regards to her and all the amazing talent she brings forth through her fingers to those ivory keys. I thank her for the music I have been gifted dating back to 2015. Keep it coming my friend, it is a blessing I will always treasure once it is received. There is a large audience out there that will appreciate Give My Regards To Broadway for many reasons, but mostly because it is Robin and her piano providing all of the interpretations of these legendary compositions.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder
August 20, 2021

Tracks:
01. The Impossible Dream        
02. Maria        
03. I Don't Know How to Love Him        
04. Give My Regards to Broadway        
05. I'd Do Anything        
06.  Dulcinea        
07. Far From the Home I Love        
08. Where Is Love        
09. Happiness        
10. They Say It's Wonderful        
11. Ten Minutes Ago        
12. I'll Know        
13. I Have Dreamed        
14. If I Loved You        
15. Heart        
16. Can't Help Lovin Dat Man        
17. If I Were a Bell        
18. Tomorrow        
19. Somewhere        
20. My Best Girl  
    


8/06/2021

Interview: Robin Spielberg The Final On Vinyl Podcast


I had a great opportunity today to speak to an artist I have been covering for many years, Robin Spielberg.

Robin provided some great insight into her life and music.

Thank you Robin!


10/06/2016

Instrumental New Age Piano Review: Dan Chadburn-Beyond Words

Release Date: September 1, 2016
Label: Dan Chadburn Music

Last year just before the fall I was introduced to the music of Dan Chadburn through the album Keys of Light. Now over a year later I have another set of tracks to enjoy. The most recent release to his catalog is Beyond Words

Any good instrumental album could use that title but you better be able to back it up with exceptional music. Beyond Words does that with certain key elements I always look for in a piano based instrumental album. 

First the piano as a standalone instrument provides more than enough entertainment, this I know to be a fact. I hear this type of music on a regular basis so it has to be extraordinary, and it is. Secondly the pace, rhythm and objective must be clear, again in this case Dan gets all the boxes checked off.

His emotion, particularly on this album, is filled with the path of his life over the last 30 years. So how does a man take 30 years of living and interpret it over 14 songs? A good question indeed, so we get back to the three hot spots - pace, rhythms and objectives. His intent is clear, convey a different emotion in each track (just look at the titles), hence the pace is ever changing from start to finish. The rhythm and timing of every track is exceptional. The flow is easy and natural because all the important pieces fall together perfectly. It is like throwing a 50-piece puzzle in the air and then it lands on the floor complete with no missing pieces.

This is like the sequel to Keys of Light, he picks up where he left off. All 14 tracks are like a river of music flowing into each other with no end, with exception of you the listener being the recipient (as if you were the ocean the river is going to). I cannot help hearing the similarities between the last two releases in many ways. Last year I was feeling sadness because my daughter had left for college at this time however I am facing different challenges now. The music always helps and provides healing and positive energy.

So once again it is difficult to say any one track was a key to the listening experience they are all superb and link with each other. It is the entire album as one moving piece of art, a living breathing entity for you to embrace and allow to transport you to a better place. I think of a stress free space in my mind, heart and soul, one we shall all reach once we leave this earth and enter a different reality but that can be accomplished while we are here with a little help. That belief is for me and whatever you feel is your truth. Take what can give you the most hope, I suggest you make that your focus point and let this beautiful piano instrumental music take you there.

The title of the album will hit home once you start playing this music through. It can go so much further than the music, it is quintessentially Beyond Words. The music forms the words of Dan Chadburn and he is successful once again in putting together some great pieces that pay tribute to his talent and inner being, which is reflected in every track. This is music for any time of day or night, it soothes and clears your consciousness of any clutter, which makes it a true tool for general relaxation or meditation.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 6, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

4/27/2016

Sonic Shapeshifter Janet Robbins Releases New Solo Piano Album “I Hear Crow”


In these nursery rhymes and fairy tales, you fly the cockeyed route of a silly tool! Crafty forager stealing seeds from my garden, you appear. You crack me up! The way you teeter and tot, pop!

Will you sing now too? I hear it’s often in your solitude your notes ring. Why, do you follow me? I’ve got no bread. And you make such noise that rattles my head!

But your magick is strong—your unexpected genius.

Amuse me! Bemuse me! For soon I shall attend the busyness of the world. I must, I must attend! But I hear Crow…

Asheville, NC - Weaving compositions of magic, mysticism and beauty on solo piano, Janet Robbins has released her sixth album “I Hear Crow”. Much like Debussy’s work over a century ago, “I Hear Crow” inhabits a twilight world of improvisation and composition. Described as “moody, laconic, enticing, sometimes baffling”, Janet’s music possesses a “dark beauty and symphonic grandeur.” Repeated listening rewards us with a trove of subtle jewels, like baubles left on a windowsill by a half-tamed crow. Whether in its solo piano pieces or those where piano mixes with ambient textures and orchestrations, there is great beauty to be found in the simplicity here.

“I Hear Crow” recalls the effortless ease of Harold Budd's piano combined with Hector Zazou's poignant textural arrangements, or some of Ryuichi Sakamoto's more ambient piano-based explorations. Wisps of Keith Jarrett and Joni Mitchell add a note of nostalgia to the emotional mixture. With nomadic roots and a celestial longing, her compositions are as equally influenced by the experiences of ancient sacred sites in Turkey, England, and Egypt, as the mysterious Catskills of NY, 'land of the sky'–Asheville NC, and majestic redwoods of Northern CA.

Tracks:
1. What Do They Hear
2. The Nest
3. Theater of the Music Box
4. Odin's Prayers
5. One For Sorrow Two For Joy
6. I Hear Crow
7. Confusing The Moon
8. Like Charlie Chaplin Walks
9. Somber Jacket Pie
10. The Factory Below
11. Daybreak
12. Change
13. Through Your Eyes
14. As Black Is The Color Of Night
15. As Messenger
16. Bird Clan

Here's what's been said about Janet Robbin's critically acclaimed 2011 release “Song of the Gypsy Tree”:

“Janet Robbins new CD 'Song of the Gypsy Tree' is a fresh interpretation of musical art. Her lyrics are profound, her voice is pure, and the music is deep and emotional...” - Steve DellaVecchia, Producer/Composer

“The sense of being carried along on an unfolding trip into beguiling soundscapes of a highly personal nature is constant; beautiful at times, deeply introspective at others, then full of shadow, then vivid hues and warmth.” - Morpheus Music Reviews

“ 'Song of the Gypsy Tree' is a truly unique and amazing experience! I don't recall ever hearing such a well-crafted blend of lyric, melody, voice and sonic imagination...What a beautiful, enchanting and musical album, filled with pleasant surprise after surprise.” - Chuck Wild, Producer

Born into a musical family in Nashville, TN, at five Janet began playing/studying classical piano. After years of writing and performing, she eventually made her way to Los Angeles, playing in bands before finding her compositional voice through the creation of atmospheric soundscapes, incorporating her vocal and instrumental talents as well as the diverse cultural influences she has absorbed from her world travels.

And now in 2016, Janet Robbins new album promises to take the listener on a spiritual musical journey through vast aural landscapes. Janet explains. “Sonically I still draw from a source of tone and musicality, that seems to reside in both middle earth and deep space. There is a stillness and intimacy in this music but the quality of journey still exists there.”

In closing Janet has this to impart, “I think we have the gift of almost unlimited creation and a responsibility for what/the world we create. So cook a great meal and share it with friends! Sing a little tune to someone on the street, turn a moment into a radical departure from social dictates, use your voice and break the numbing acquiescence of a collective sleep. Love life and share love.”

Janet Robbins is like a musical spirit guide – follow her and she will lead you on an enriching and captivating journey!

To purchase Janet Robbins “I Hear Crow”:
https://janetrobbins.bandcamp.com/album/i-hear-crow

Janet Robbins' videos
“What Do They Hear”:


“Somber Jacket Pie”:


For more information: 
http://janetrobbinsmusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Janet-Robbins/331119009310
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/janetrobbins ;

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Sonic Shapeshifter Janet Robbins Releases New Solo Piano Album “I Hear Crow”


In these nursery rhymes and fairy tales, you fly the cockeyed route of a silly tool! Crafty forager stealing seeds from my garden, you appear. You crack me up! The way you teeter and tot, pop!

Will you sing now too? I hear it’s often in your solitude your notes ring. Why, do you follow me? I’ve got no bread. And you make such noise that rattles my head!

But your magick is strong—your unexpected genius.

Amuse me! Bemuse me! For soon I shall attend the busyness of the world. I must, I must attend! But I hear Crow…

Asheville, NC - Weaving compositions of magic, mysticism and beauty on solo piano, Janet Robbins has released her sixth album “I Hear Crow”. Much like Debussy’s work over a century ago, “I Hear Crow” inhabits a twilight world of improvisation and composition. Described as “moody, laconic, enticing, sometimes baffling”, Janet’s music possesses a “dark beauty and symphonic grandeur.” Repeated listening rewards us with a trove of subtle jewels, like baubles left on a windowsill by a half-tamed crow. Whether in its solo piano pieces or those where piano mixes with ambient textures and orchestrations, there is great beauty to be found in the simplicity here.

“I Hear Crow” recalls the effortless ease of Harold Budd's piano combined with Hector Zazou's poignant textural arrangements, or some of Ryuichi Sakamoto's more ambient piano-based explorations. Wisps of Keith Jarrett and Joni Mitchell add a note of nostalgia to the emotional mixture. With nomadic roots and a celestial longing, her compositions are as equally influenced by the experiences of ancient sacred sites in Turkey, England, and Egypt, as the mysterious Catskills of NY, 'land of the sky'–Asheville NC, and majestic redwoods of Northern CA.

Tracks:
1. What Do They Hear
2. The Nest
3. Theater of the Music Box
4. Odin's Prayers
5. One For Sorrow Two For Joy
6. I Hear Crow
7. Confusing The Moon
8. Like Charlie Chaplin Walks
9. Somber Jacket Pie
10. The Factory Below
11. Daybreak
12. Change
13. Through Your Eyes
14. As Black Is The Color Of Night
15. As Messenger
16. Bird Clan

Here's what's been said about Janet Robbin's critically acclaimed 2011 release “Song of the Gypsy Tree”:

“Janet Robbins new CD 'Song of the Gypsy Tree' is a fresh interpretation of musical art. Her lyrics are profound, her voice is pure, and the music is deep and emotional...” - Steve DellaVecchia, Producer/Composer

“The sense of being carried along on an unfolding trip into beguiling soundscapes of a highly personal nature is constant; beautiful at times, deeply introspective at others, then full of shadow, then vivid hues and warmth.” - Morpheus Music Reviews

“ 'Song of the Gypsy Tree' is a truly unique and amazing experience! I don't recall ever hearing such a well-crafted blend of lyric, melody, voice and sonic imagination...What a beautiful, enchanting and musical album, filled with pleasant surprise after surprise.” - Chuck Wild, Producer

Born into a musical family in Nashville, TN, at five Janet began playing/studying classical piano. After years of writing and performing, she eventually made her way to Los Angeles, playing in bands before finding her compositional voice through the creation of atmospheric soundscapes, incorporating her vocal and instrumental talents as well as the diverse cultural influences she has absorbed from her world travels.

And now in 2016, Janet Robbins new album promises to take the listener on a spiritual musical journey through vast aural landscapes. Janet explains. “Sonically I still draw from a source of tone and musicality, that seems to reside in both middle earth and deep space. There is a stillness and intimacy in this music but the quality of journey still exists there.”

In closing Janet has this to impart, “I think we have the gift of almost unlimited creation and a responsibility for what/the world we create. So cook a great meal and share it with friends! Sing a little tune to someone on the street, turn a moment into a radical departure from social dictates, use your voice and break the numbing acquiescence of a collective sleep. Love life and share love.”

Janet Robbins is like a musical spirit guide – follow her and she will lead you on an enriching and captivating journey!

To purchase Janet Robbins “I Hear Crow”:
https://janetrobbins.bandcamp.com/album/i-hear-crow

Janet Robbins' videos
“What Do They Hear”:


“Somber Jacket Pie”:


For more information: 
http://janetrobbinsmusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Janet-Robbins/331119009310
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/janetrobbins ;

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

1/16/2016

Featured Stream: Joe Heinemann - Lenape

Joe Heinemann's new release Gratitude says how the artist feels about life and he then translates that in his music.

The track of choice is "Lenape." It is a beautiful dance of grace and sound. Joe's fingers are the translator and his piano is the messenger.

The soft intro pulls you in and grabs your attention. The pace is purposeful and meaningful. 

"Lenape" is one example of what is in store for the listener on the new release. Lovers of instrumental, classical and new age music will find this an enjoyable piece to listen to.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck


More About Joe Joe Heinemann:

http://www.joeheinemann.com

Some music career voyages start early, some start late, but each one shares a point where the commitment to working on one's craft becomes

important. For pianist Joe Heinemann, that happened at the young age of 7, shortly after he began taking piano lessons. His mother was the only

member of the household “really into music,” and was the guiding force in his early musical development and the emergence of his performing

talent. “My mother pushed me when I was young, which was key, because I wasn’t aware of what I was developing completely. I wasn’t self-driven.

There were many small steps to feeling good about becoming a really proficient player and side-man, and that made making music more valuable as

I aged."

Joe Heinemann grew up in Portland, Oregon, and studied classical piano from the age of 7 until he turned 20 (including a brief stint at the

Music Conservatory in San Francisco). His professional playing career began smack-dab in the middle of that spell, at a mere 13 years old. As a

young teen in Portland, he found himself drawn to jazz by listening to albums at friends' houses. In his twenties, he heard a Keith Jarrett

album and a light bulb went on over his head. “I was a strong solo pianist and always wanted to do that most. When George Winston appeared [on

the scene] I thought it was great that he could do concert halls with a casual appearance. I wasn’t at a point in my life to follow a similar

path to [Winston's], though.”

After his formal studies, Heinemann funneled his energy into jazz and dance music, as well as a great amount of freelancing (he would end up

playing piano and keyboards with an assortment of bands until he turned 45). For two years in the mid '80s he lived in Amsterdam, playing local

gigs and touring Europe, performing and recording, including dates with saxophonist Archie Shepp. These years represented his most intensely

focused jazz-playing period.

Moving back to the States, he launched a career as a jazz and blues keyboardist in both Portland and San Francisco, most notably touring and

recording with Charlie Musselwhite's Band. Between 1992 and 2001, Joe recorded and shared the stage with many well-known artists (e.g. Robert

Cray, Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt, and Albert Collins, to name just a few), developing a reputation as the consummate sideman. He also fronted

his own group, releasing six recordings under his name. One of his earlier songs, "Straight Ahead," placed in the top ten in a Jazzizz magazine

national keyboardist contest. As accomplished as he had become, something was missing. “I knew in 2001 I had to leave freelancing and playing in

other people’s bands. I needed to take time to develop my music and discover my true voice. I knew it would be a long process and I had to make

a living, so I built a private piano teaching business in the Bay Area and left performing for a living to teach while I wrote and developed my

own piano repertoire. That lasted about 12 years.”

In 2012, he and his wife moved to New York City (where they currently reside) and Joe spent time “getting to know himself” as a different kind

of piano player and composer. “I fully realized I wanted to (and needed to) find a way to be a solo pianist, perform for respectful audiences on

nice pianos, express my original music in a relaxed and mature environment.” This process of discovery slowly took shape, culminating in the

artist reaching out to noted producer Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records and currently part of one of the hottest producer/engineer

tandems in music alongside Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios in rural Vermont. It is here that Joe recorded his latest work, Gratitude. While

subtle elements of jazz can be heard on the album, “...with this music I’m doing now, melody is primary. Will stresses this and I think it’s

part of why his judgment is so valuable. I will probably revere melody more for the rest of my life because of Will’s influence.”

As Joe Heinemann continues to evolve, those first glimpses of this new direction his music would take all those years ago (with the discovery of

Jarrett and Winston) have crystallized. “This solo piano, original music, played on great pianos, with quiet listeners that want to hear you,

working with the greatest producer in the business, and an audience ready for my music, is all I really wanted since I was very young.

Ultimately, I want to leave something behind after I’m gone. The music I’m making now will allow for that.”

10/09/2015

New Age Stream: Lynn Yew Evers-Without Words

Lynn Yew Evers does it all "Without Words" on our latest featured stream. In a world of upheaval and political statements that permeates our media there are artists that speak on a different wave length with just their music. The music is strong, peaceful and moving, thus words are never necessary. Lynn is one of those artist that lets her music do the talking.

The title track leads the way with beautiful textures and melody as Lynn uses the ivory keys to deliver her own slice of heaven to our ears. There is a touch of sadness in the track but there inside lies the beauty and purity of it all.

This is one example of what you can enjoy with the music of Lynn Yew Evers so enjoy the stream!

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck



More About Lynn Yew Evers:
http://www.lynnyewevers.com

Grammy® winner Will Ackerman, who produced Lynn's latest album "Dawn of Peace" says: "Lynn Yew Evers has the heart of a romantic and the hands of an artist. The combination is very powerful. Her music is like a walk through the most beautiful garden you've ever imagined; her compositions imbued with profound emotion and grace. A pianist who has played for the king and queen of her native Malaysia, “Dawn of Peace” is the larger world's introduction to a brilliant new talent."

Lynn Yew Evers is a multitalented concert pianist, whose passion and determination lead her to relocate from Malaysia to the United States in 2009 to further pursue her well-accomplished career as a professional musician. Lynn was born and raised in a vast historical city in Malaysia called Ipoh. As one of the largest cities in Malaysia, Ipoh is known for it’s year round tropical climate and magnificent limestone caves and temples that surround the metropolis. While growing up amidst the beauty of a tropical oasis, Lynn developed a deep connection to nature, which also nurtured her inspiration and intention behind her music.

“The Music of Nature is what one hears or feels when one is fully immersed in their natural surroundings and awed by the experience. It is much more than sound – singing birds and croaking frogs, but also rustling leaves, flowing water, and breathing winds. The intention behind my music is to gently guide the listener into the tranquility of nature, to experience their surroundings as I do - full of melody and harmony” she expresses. Lynn's U.S. debut solo piano album “Falling Leaves,” is a beautiful reflection of her classical roots with melodious improvisation to tell the story of her first experiences in America… her first autumn, her first snowy winter, and her first year away from home.

Lynn’s musical talent playfully surfaced on a toy piano at the age of 4. Gifted with a perfect ear and intuitive understanding of music, she began performing at age 6 and composing and improvising by age 9. Lynn had undeniably found her calling early in life, and began her musical career as early as 15 years old as a piano coach for children. Inspired by classical greats such as Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninoff, she went on to obtain a degree from the Trinity College of Music in London. She returned to Malaysia determined to further explore and develop her life long passion for music and immediately began to shine as a performer, arranger and composer in her native land.

From 1985-2009, Lynn organized and performed in a multitude of concerts in Malaysia and the U.S. as a solo pianist and accompanist for renowned choirs and ensembles. She arranged, composed and produced the music for a multitude of venues featuring brass bands, ensembles, and chamber orchestras. Lynn also appeared as an international judge for piano competitions on HDTV and played the keyboard in a rock band. Her countless high-level appearances, lead to a well-deserved invitation to the palace to play for the king and queen of Malaysia, as well as the Prime Minister and other Malaysian dignitaries.

“My music is a personal invitation to experience life through imaginative and inspiring stories told by melodies in harmony with nature, “ says Lynn. Amongst Lynn’s many accomplishments, her collaboration with Grammy winner Will Ackerman at his legendary Imaginary Roads Studio in Vermont stands at the top of her list. Her second solo piano album "Dawn of Peace," is a captivating production which truly captures the excellent ability of Ackerman and his team to effortlessly synthesize with the vision of the artist. “Dawn of Peace” brings to light the fluidity of Lynn’s music while expressing her intuitive sense of translating the peaceful melodies expressed in nature.

“When you have someone like Lynn Evers you’ve got this brilliant pianist from a technical standpoint and also this person who is filled with heart. Her music is incredibly expressive. So that’s the ultimate joy – to get someone who is so versatile as a pianist that you can offer suggestions and she is able to manifest that change gracefully in her own work. Believe me, when I hear heart in music, when I hear the pathos, when I hear the joy, when I hear the sadness, that’s what transports me. And Lynn Evers brings that in spades.” – Will Ackerman

3/24/2015

New Age Instrumental Review: Ryan Stewart-One Journey

Release Date: October 1, 2014
Label: Ryan Stewart Music

Ryan Stewart was given the gift of music by his mother. At the age of thirteen, she passed away from breast cancer and the event has forever left a mark on his soul. In One Journey, Stewart’s third album, he explores the continuity of human relationships. Not the type you find online where everyone is so focused on technology, but the kind of real connection you get with the people that make an impact on our lives. This songwriter and composer has a gift of emotional resonance that fluttered through me with every song. Guest artists on the album include: Monte Belknap (violin) and Nicole Pinnell (cello). Stewart has composed works for documentaries and many others.

“Under the Willow” is a meaningful piece for Stewart for multiple reasons. It was inspired by his childhood memories at the ages of twelve and thirteen. He would lie underneath a very particular willow tree and dream. Soft and melodic, the song drifts in like a cloud, swiftly changing to the poignant tones of a violin. The Celtic overtones in the piece bring harp and the beautiful vocals of Stewart’s daughter Aysia. His daughter was the same age as he was when he first found the willow tree so getting her involved in the project was especially meaningful. Wind instruments flex and merge into a composition that is truly breathtaking. Buoyant and full of wonderment, this piece is for all the dreamers out there reaching out to find the deeper things in life.

“Winding Road” begins as a piano sequence and continues as such. The imagery invoked is walking along a well-trod path, as your mind works out the troubles of the day. A steady melody, the piece keeps time as you make your way. With anything, you do not walk your path alone. There are loved ones that fall into step beside you and though the way may wind and at times be unclear, the journey is part of the process.

“Coming Home” is a joyous composition. A cornucopia of sound, this piece encapsulates the joy you feel as you stride across the doorstep of the place you call home. Violins, percussion and multiple instruments swirl together to create an uplifting feeling that is truly infectious. It is bending down to enfold your puppy in your arms after a long day at work. It is the twinkling eyes of your daughter as she meets your gaze or the unconditional love of your spouse. But most of all, it is musical symmetry and the artistry of Ryan Stewart and the gifted musicians that helped to create this piece.

Our life journey is one filled with opportunity and people who make a difference by word and deed. Ryan Stewart found such a person in his gifted mother, a musician who instilled in him a love for the craft. Today he spends time with his family and is thrilled to compose and perform music for multiple outlets. Each song on One Journey is like a vanilla cupcake and a cup of your favorite tea. It just goes down smooth and you never want it to end.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Under the Willow, Winding Road, Coming Home

Tracks: 
01.When We Met
02.Here and Now   
03. Brighter
04.Under the Willow
05.Innocence
06.Old Friend
07.The Portrait
08.Happy People
09.One Step Closer
10.Windows of Time
11.Winding Road
12.Our Story
13.Coming Home

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
March 24, 2015       
    
Review Provided By New Age Music Review

2/12/2014

New Age Instrumental Review: Jim Gabriel-Title: Sojourn

Release Date: November 13, 2013
Label: Rps Records

James Gabriel began his journey into music at the age of eight.  Beginning formal music education with two full scholarships, he has not stopped pursuing his dreams. Traveling the world, he has taught in Mexico, performed for Pope John Paul II, studied under Naji Hakim in Paris and performed in various churches in the area. He has been a teacher and inspiration to students of all ages and is now the Director of Vocal Arts at Cranbrook Educational Community. Sojourn is a wistful look at his musical roots and a testament to a rich career that has brought joy to so many listeners the world over. Featured artists include Tony Levin, Eugene Friesen, William Ackerman, Jeff Pierce, Charlie Bisharat and Jim Gabriel.

Listening to this album was like a breath of fresh air and so is Gabriel’s elegant piano playing. Opening with “South Bend, IN 1989,” I was transfixed. The deliberately poised piano sequence literally stopped me in my tracks and I sat still and listened. Really, really listened. As a writer, I am always humming and doing a plethora of things at once. Not with this album. It was like a balm to my deadline ridden brain and I just sighed and let the music flow over me. Sweet and poignant, like watching Bridges of Madison County, this music takes you away from yourself and transports you. Softly spoken, this composition is a dust devil in disguise. A wispy breeze that makes you remember fonder times and smile.

“Sojourn” is the title track of this gorgeous album. This piece has Friessen on the cello, Pierce on the Chapman stick and William Ackerman weaving his magic with percussion elements. Gabriel sets the tone with his piano work, hypnotizing the listener with a spell of serenity. He chose wisely with the cover art indeed. Blues and greens denote tranquility and that is just what this track is. It is a wandering path into a land beneath the waves. A passage into a world less traveled by---an epic transformative piece.

“To the Sky” is love, light and bears an optimistic flair for a brighter tomorrow. Firm piano playing sequences both pensive and introspective give rise to dreams and the secret joys that fill our everyday lives. Liquid cello movements glide over the listener as you embrace the inner workings of the piece as it leads you to the start key to begin the journey all over again.

Jim Gabriel has performed for and worked with some of the greatest talents in music today. This album is a testament to that fact. It is beautifully orchestrated and flows like water. A teacher and mentor, Gabriel is in the unique position to guide students to explore their passions and show that hard work does pay off. Sojourn is a masterpiece of sound. Each track is woven to the highest standard and brings the listener on a harmonic journey outside of the day to day grind. If you want a spa moment and a transformative space, this album is one you need to try.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: South Bend, IN 1989, Sojourn, To the Sky

Dana Wright

February 12, 2014


Tracks:
South Bend, Indiana 1989
Chaccone (feat. Eugene Friesen)
Spring Reverie (feat. Eugene Friesen)
Sojourn (feat. Eugene Friesen, William Ackerman & Jeff Pierce)
Closest Night
Dayspring (feat. Charlie Bisharat & Tony Levin)
Retrospection
Lost Chances (feat. Charlie Bisharat & Tony Levin)
Your Hand in Mine
Hopes Forgotten (feat. Tony Levin & Eugene Friesen)
To the Sky (feat. Eugene Friesen)
 

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